Welcome to Pride & Possibilities


On 30th October 1811, Jane Austen achieved her life-long ambition and became a published author. Exactly 205 years ago, an advertisement appeared in The Star, placed by the publisher Thomas Egerton. It announced the sale of a new novel, titled Sense & Sensibility, costing 15 shillings for three volumes. The author was not named - instead, the only clue given about its origins were the words 'By a Lady'. 

Today, this lady is famous throughout the world. The advertised novel and her subsequent published books have gone on to become some of the best-loved English novels of all time, including her most popular: Pride & Prejudice. Countless adaptations of her published and unpublished works have continued to bring new audiences to the words of Jane Austen, and have catapulted the unmarried, seemingly unassuming daughter of a country rector into the literary spotlight where she remains, virtually unchallenged, almost 200 years after her death.  

We are proud to launch Pride and Possibilities, the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation journal. We aim to bring you exclusive content every month, incorporating contributions from celebrities and Austen experts around the globe and our own updates on Foundation news. Our founder, Caroline Jane Knight (the last Austen descendant to be raised in Chawton, Hampshire, where Jane wrote and published her most famous works), and her family will check in to share memories and stories and we'll keep you up-to-date on what was happening in Jane's life 200 years ago as well.

But for now, it is an honour to present our first contributor, a man who really needs no introduction but will have one anyway. Simon Langton is credited with bringing Pride and Prejudice to the twentieth century, having directed the wildly successful 1995 BBC miniseries which made stars of Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. We were delighted when Simon agreed to be the first Ambassador of the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation, and he has been a great support to the Foundation since its launch in 2014. He has written the first issue of Pride and Possibilities, and we hope you enjoy reading his piece about - what else? - the joys and challenges of making Pride and Prejudice, or 'Shooting Jane' as Simon calls it!  

'Shooting Jane' will be published this week. Like us on Facebook and subscribe below so you don't miss it.

© Emily Prince, Editor of Pride & Possibilities


Marilyn Butler, ‘Austen, Jane (1775–1817)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online ed., Jan 2010 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/904, accessed 2 Sept 2016]


The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation works with the Jane Austen community and industry worldwide to raise funds to buy literacy resources for communities in need across the world. Reading and writing skills empower individuals to participate in society and achieve their dreams. Literacy gives a child pride and opens up a world of possibilities.